Category Archives: Culture
Success doesn’t come easy. It takes planning and focused effort to enable yourself and your team to attain those goals.
One of the most overlooked and neglected factors into any success for your team is to ensure the proper landscape is in place that better enables those goals to be met. That landscape is your culture.
Just as a great landscape sets the stage for painting a beautiful picture or taking a breathtaking and rewarding hike, having the proper landscape for your organization will enhance the success that you strive to attain.
Having the proper landscape for your organization will enhance the success that you strive to attain
Lolly Daskal’s post a few months ago stated “Culture sets the stage for success” is true. It not only brings people together but allows performance to thrive. Michael Lee Stallard’s book Connection Culture outlines how great cultures allow people to have more commitment and find better success corporately and personally. It’s no mistake that Connection Culture’s Twitter handle is @ConnectToThrive. Stallard outlines that a connected culture possesses the following 3 key aspects:
- Vision – a share in the mission and where the team is headed
- Value – everyone feeling important and a contributing member
- Voice – people having input and being truly heard
These aspects help remove barriers that impede cooperation, productivity, ambiguity, and rogue agendas. It’s the removal of these impediments that allow individuals to perform, both more freely and with more commitment. They also can create incremental success where people feel more support and freedom to solve problems, go the extra mile, and look after the organization’s best interests because the organization has looked after theirs first and foremost.
Conversely, neglecting and allowing a poor culture will set up a toxic landscape where people will default to a survival mode, meet minimum performance and justify their actions why they did not do better.
In any organization – business, sports team, community program, church and even family – having the proper landscape of culture that allows people to feel valued, have a voice, and share the vision will create a far better environment where they will most likely naturally work harder and be more deeply engaged. Setting the right culture is essential for anyone wanting more success from their grouping structure.
How will you set the landscape for success for those you impact this year?
Last week Square CFO Sarah Friar announced she was departing to take the helm as CEO of Nextdoor.
In response, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square (and Twitter) sent her a series of encouraging texts to prepare Friar for the challenges – and success – he believes she’ll have in the role.
What was most enlightening was the encouragement Dorsey gave Friar. Not in the three points of wisdom, but in the preface for the message:
“In considering what you’re about to take on, I believe it’s best to highlight some challenges you’ll likely face. I have no doubt you’ll be able to overcome all,”
Leaders, do we celebrate and encourage others new endeavors, even when that means departure from your team to pursue their own goals?
Dorsey took the time to show humility and an opportunity to build Friar up for her big moment.
Great leaders instill hope and encourage others at all times.
Let’s adopt the same behavior as a go forward mindset today.
Some time ago I conducted a training session for a number of restaurant employees. I prefaced my training session with an explanation of how restaurants made money, and that the average restaurant makes about a 5% profit.
As soon as this fact rolled from my mouth, a number of servers who were present with their owner turned to her and questioned “Is that right?” The owner nodded and confirmed “Some months, yes.”
The staff then turned around to me and many of them exclaimed, “Well, we’ll need to help Cathy make more money then.” The sense of teamwork to rally and help their boss make her business more profitable was the most incredible aspect of that training.
Usually in consulting with business owners, I find that most of them never share the financials with their employees.
The usual excuses abound:
“They don’t need to know.”
“I can’t trust them, why should I show them the books?”
“It’s not their job to know.”
“We can’t show them what we really make.”
“They’ll want a raise!!”
Then there are always the unspoken excuses that being open-book will reveal issues, such as impropriety, false reporting, bleaker financial pictures, and so on.
Business owners and leaders who want to increase engagement can easily develop trust by adopting an open-book culture that lets employees know the financials, a more connected and positive workplace results. This study from the University of Michigan underscores some of the benefits of this approach.
Here are some of the other benefits of adopting an open-book culture:
- It give employees information to make informed decisions
- It builds trust in all directions of the organization
- It enables people to make decisions to better increase bottom line, without being told so
- It gives employees a better understanding of how strategy and goals are, or are not, meeting financial goals
- It holds leadership and the entire organization accountable for financial stewardship
- It indirectly asks people to give input on ways to help make revenue, and save on costs
- It gives people a deeper insight as to your industry so they can develop their knowledge more thoroughly
- It also builds more experts in your industry and deepens your organization’s competency and acumen
While it’s clear there are so many advantages for open book leadership, there is one disadvantage however – holding unethical leadership accountable. The case is pretty clear, if you want people to open up and engage, you will need to open up your books first.